January 12, 2016

Efforts to Address Water Quality Issues Tabbed as Des Moines' 'Top Environmental Deal of 2015'

In 2015, Des Moines Water Works sued three Iowa counties, alleging that drainage from their farm land was carrying nitrate pollution into the drinking water supply. The lawsuit has prompted an all-hands-on-deck search for water quality solutions in Des Moines, including the creation of the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Water Quality Task Force, co-chaired by Faegre Baker Daniels counsel Larry James. After consulting with groups from the agricultural, business and environmental communities, James’ task force will present legislative proposals to help clean the waterways and bolster conservation efforts. The Des Moines Business Record characterized the water quality discussion as “one of the most emotional and lively environmental debates Iowa has seen” and tabbed it as its “Top Environmental Deal of 2015.”

“[The Des Moines Water Works lawsuit] has also brought a long-simmering issue of polluted waterways to a boil and new problem solvers to the table,” the article said. “No matter what the legal outcome is, the lawsuit is expected to result in more conservation efforts and added monitoring to check their success."

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